This Is What It Feels Like
It doesn’t matter what the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is this year.Who cares that’s it’s fifteen grand? Who cares about a gig opening for one of the greatest bands to ever play this town?Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning Sun City. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Jules haven’t been in it. And ever since Hanna left — well, there hasn’t been a band.It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now — and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship. No contest can change that. Right?But like the lyrics of a song you used to play on repeat, there’s no forgetting a best friend. And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge — to ignore the past, in order to jumpstart the future — will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.Rebecca Barrow’s tender story of friendship, music, and ferocious love asks — what will you fight for, if not yourself?

This Is What It Feels Like Details

TitleThis Is What It Feels Like
Author
ReleaseNov 6th, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062494245
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Lgbt

This Is What It Feels Like Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Now Available I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishing & Rececca Barrow. "This is what it feels like to be alive" Rebecca Barrow is Black Girl Magic and her book This Is What It Feels Like a fantastic read. I almost didn't even enter the giveaway for this book because it didn't sound like something that would interest me. A book about 3 teenage girls in a Rock Group entering a Rock Contest. I don't listen to Rock music and don't care about it at al Now Available I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishing & Rececca Barrow. "This is what it feels like to be alive" Rebecca Barrow is Black Girl Magic and her book This Is What It Feels Like a fantastic read. I almost didn't even enter the giveaway for this book because it didn't sound like something that would interest me. A book about 3 teenage girls in a Rock Group entering a Rock Contest. I don't listen to Rock music and don't care about it at all. But...Then I Googled the title and discovered the author was a Black woman. That peaked my interest. A book about people of Color in a Rock group, seemed fresh and new. At least to me it did, so I hit ENTER. This Is What It Feels Like is about Dia &Jules and their former friend and band mate Hanna getting the band back together to enter The Sun City Originals Contest. The winner of this contest wins 15 grand and a chance to perform with their favorite band Glory Alabama. As they work on their music they work through their problems and try to make peace with each other and themselves. This book made me smile despite some pretty hard subject matters like teen pregnancy, addiction, grief and sexual identity. If you followed my updates then you know that Hanna was my favorite character. She was in my opinion the most complete character. I connected to her the most on an emotional level. I highly recommend that on November 6th after you've voted(if you live in The U.S.) you buy this book and read it. You won't regret it.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    every time I think about this book's release I feel better. this is such a soft and aestheticy cover. sapphic band girls are such a nice concept. it's just very soft okay
  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 starsThis Is What It Feels Like is a story about recovery. I have read many stories about mentally ill main characters and characters going through trauma, but I know very few stories that talk about what happens afterward. What happens when you're not an addict anymore, what happens when you finally get out of a toxic situation.Not only this is a story about recovery, it's a story about recovery in which the romance, while present, is not the reason the main characters get better.This Is W 4.25 starsThis Is What It Feels Like is a story about recovery. I have read many stories about mentally ill main characters and characters going through trauma, but I know very few stories that talk about what happens afterward. What happens when you're not an addict anymore, what happens when you finally get out of a toxic situation.Not only this is a story about recovery, it's a story about recovery in which the romance, while present, is not the reason the main characters get better.This Is What It Feels Like follows three girls, once friends and in a band together, as they reconnect through music. This aspect reminded me a lot of another 2018 contemporary release, The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk, another book about music and friendship, but with a heavier focus on grief. (If you like one of these two, I think you'll also like the other).Anyway, this book is told through four PoVs:🎵 Dia, a teenage mother. The boy she loved, and also the father of her child, died unexpectedly in an accident. I loved her PoV - it's the first time I read about a teen mother - and what stood out to me about it was the portrayal of Dia's trauma. Sometimes anxiety is almost like magical thinking, and Dia is aware of it, and yet she can't stop thinking that every person she loves will die like her almost-boyfriend did.🎵 Jules, a black lesbian who is falling for her fat, mermaid-haired coworker. Jules' PoV was my favorite because of the very cute f/f romance. I also loved Jules' character development: her relationship with her ex-girlfriend was toxic, they just really weren't compatible, but Jules doesn't know how a healthy relationship looks like. She realizes that she shouldn't hold herself back just because of a bad experience, but at the same time she doesn't see how anyone could ever want to be with her in the first place, and so maybe she shouldn't even try. I loved that she got to be in a happy, healthy f/f relationship.🎵 Hanna, former addict who has been sober for more than a year. Her alcoholism was what drove her and her friends apart, and now she feels like she doesn't really have the right to be happy. Also, her parents do not trust her anymore, even though she is trying to be better. Hanna's PoV was the most difficult for me to read, because it deals with how, when you're mentally ill, you feel like you can't be proud of your achievements, because they're something that isn't an effort for anyone else and you shouldn't have struggled with them at all. Also, so much self-loathing. Very well-written, but not an easy read.🎵 The fourth PoV is Elliot's. I won't say who he is because spoilers, but I thought his PoV was completely unnecessary and this is one of the main reasons I won't be giving this book five stars.Apart from Elliot's PoV, another thing I didn't love was the music aspect: I didn't really care about the band or the competition the girls got into, I was there for the character arcs, the recovery themes and the f/f romance. I wasn't completely invested, but I loved most of this book and I really recommend it.I kind of wish my bar wasn't so low, but it was great to read a book that dealt with addiction, teen pregnancy and teens having sex without sounding like a cautionary tale. These girls aren't walking messages, they're people with hopes and dreams and hobbies. It's also a very sex-positive story, there's an f/f sex scenes near the end.
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  • mahana.
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on my blog!
  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    IF Y'ALL SLEEP ON THIS I'M CANCELLING YOU BECAUSE REBECCA BARROW WRITES PERFECT BOOKS
  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    ♦ Video Review ♦This Is What It Feels Like is a really wonderful YA Contemporary, that has so many topics and issues packed into it.At the centre of the story are three girls, Hanna, Jules and Dia. The three were in a band for a long time but then two years before this story starts, a lot of things happened in their lives and they stopped making music together. The friendship between the three of them took a toll as well, although Jules and Dia remained best friends.Jules is a lesbian and her ♦ Video Review ♦This Is What It Feels Like is a really wonderful YA Contemporary, that has so many topics and issues packed into it.At the centre of the story are three girls, Hanna, Jules and Dia. The three were in a band for a long time but then two years before this story starts, a lot of things happened in their lives and they stopped making music together. The friendship between the three of them took a toll as well, although Jules and Dia remained best friends.Jules is a lesbian and her love interest, Autumn, is fat and is questioning her sexuality in the book. Dia is a woman of colour, I don't think there's any specifics mentioned, just that she has deep-brown skin. She is also the mother of an almost 2-year old so this deals with raising a kid as a teen. Dia's good friend and love interest, Jesse, is also a man of colour. Hanna went to rehab for her alcohol abuse and has been sober for over a year when the story starts.So as you can already tell, this book dealt with so many amazing and important topics and I thought everything was handled incredibly well. Because all three of them have alternating POVs, we see everybody's perspective to all of the issues and it offers a really insightful and multi-layered discussion for these things. ”Dia played a concert for her audience of one, under the clouds, and the moon winked in and out of sight, and she felt the anchor of the earth release her the slightest amount.” I was really happy to see this book deal with different parent relationships. It was so refreshing to see the parents so involved. Dia's parents are very supportive and really help her raise her kid.Hanna's parents are super well portrayed too. They are worried about Hanna and her alcohol abuse, even after her being sober for so long. I loved the way you could tell that they were coming from a good place, even if it wasn't received by Hanna that way or that, even when she does understand where they're coming from, she eventually just started feeling suffocated. I thought it was a very important child-parent relationship.Hanna's sister, Molly, is also very involved and a lovely character. Seeing her relationship with Hanna, after everything they went through, was really precious.I don't think I've ever read a book about a teen mum. Often this will be the main topic of the story and it doesn't really interested me in these cases. But seeing Dia and her relationship with her daughter was wonderful and really great to read. I also loved that it seems like most of her environment was pretty accepting. We never saw anyone make any appropriate comments about her young pregnancy (although we know these comments do get made) and on the contrary, people seemed very supportive and I really enjoyed that.Jules and her developing relationship between Autumn was another wonderful part of the novel. Seeing such a beautiful and wholesome f/f relationship in a book still gets me every time. There is also an incredibly well written sex scene between the two.On top of that female masturbation is mentioned twice, although just in passing. But I'm always glad to see it in any YA as I find it so important to normalize! ”But being drunk made her feel invincible, gave her cover for so many things. She said whatever she wanted, she did anything and everything that she got the urge to, and when she fucked up, she'd brush it off: 'I was drunk! It's no big deal.'” And then there's Hanna's alcohol abuse which might have been my favourite issue that was talked about in this novel. Now while I was never addicted to alcohol, I found so many of Hanna's reasons as to why she drank and how it got so bad, incredibly relatable and seeing this in a YA and how much this could open some teen's eyes? It was fantastic.We shouldn't underestimate the power of alcohol, ESPECIALLY for teens. And as someone who grew up and lives in a country, where you can start drinking beer and wine with 16, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. While reading this novel, I thought a lot about how trivialized alcohol is. I remember a girl from my school who had to get her stomach pumped after a party and I thought a lot about how we talked about this back then, like it was just a funny mishap.. sometimes even like something to be proud of. Looking back at how this was handled back then absolutely haunts me until this day.On top of all these topics and issues, that were handled so very well, this also had a great storyline about friendship and music and how it can bring people together, reunite them. I loved the portrayal of the bond that you form when you make music together for a couple of years, especially when it's in your "formative" years. The way these girls found their way back together through music warmed my heart immensely. ”She played for the girls they used to be and the ones they were now, and all their fallen-apart pieces that had gotten lost or ruined or discarded along the way.” And that is still not all. There is also the aspect of grief. And there is a wonderful m/f romance as well. And as I said, almost all of these topics get portrayed from different POVs. So while Hanna's addiction is obviously important in her storyline, we also see the way Dia and Jules feel about it, the way it influenced their lives and the decisions that they made.Honestly I can't quite believe how many things were in this 400 page novel and I could probably write a 400 page novel about all of the things packed into this and how amazing they all were.But I think you get the picture.I'm really mad that this will not get the attention it deserved due to the release date in November. This is a SUMMER CONTEMPORARY that absolutely should've been released in early summer. I know this will be overlooked by many, only due to this release date.But please pack this onto your must-read list! It is so great and important and I hope many more YA Contemporaries tackle issues in such an amazing and open way.♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦Thanks to Edelweiss for providing me with an early review copy!
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    I had absolutely no interest in this and could not focus, which is a shame because it has the potential to be at least a 4 star read for me, but my enjoyment was maybe a 2. This is probably one of the elusive DNF books that I’ll consider picking up again sometime in the future because I desperately want to like this but I don’t know if the timing was off or I’m just in a rut of perpetual 2 star and under books. This is a case of it’s not the book, it’s me. So put no weight on this review, it’s j I had absolutely no interest in this and could not focus, which is a shame because it has the potential to be at least a 4 star read for me, but my enjoyment was maybe a 2. This is probably one of the elusive DNF books that I’ll consider picking up again sometime in the future because I desperately want to like this but I don’t know if the timing was off or I’m just in a rut of perpetual 2 star and under books. This is a case of it’s not the book, it’s me. So put no weight on this review, it’s just my present experience trying, and unfortunately failing, to read it.I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fantastic read. I loved the focus on friendship, loved the characters and their growth thorough the book, the romantic relationships were adorable, too. Definitely recommend it!!Full review coming soon :)A million thanks to my incredible bookish fairy Laura for sending me her ARC of this book <3My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'
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  • Laura (bbliophile)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this so so so so so much
  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly... I just saw this cover and ran to Goodreads as fast as I could to add it to my TBR because, well, LOOK AT IT. <3
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog! Thank you to HarperCollins Publishing for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Musical fame can be a real double edged sword - just look at the news. As soon as you gain popularity, it gets far too easy to become trapped into the pitfalls of alcoholism, drug addiction, and a far too inflated ago. Its this type of problem that causes our three leads Hanna, Dia, and Jules to go their separate ways. This one starts out rea My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog! Thank you to HarperCollins Publishing for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Musical fame can be a real double edged sword - just look at the news. As soon as you gain popularity, it gets far too easy to become trapped into the pitfalls of alcoholism, drug addiction, and a far too inflated ago. Its this type of problem that causes our three leads Hanna, Dia, and Jules to go their separate ways. This one starts out really slow for me, but once it picked up about a quarter of the way in - the rest of the tale is well worth it. Hanna, Dia, and Jules really do have the most amazing chemistry together as a band that you can feel coming right off the page. Seeing them together brings out the best in each other and you can even see that as the story goes along. That doesn't mean they don't struggle with their present situations though. Hanna has to keep the band getting back together a secret from her parents since they would never approve, even if it does let her feel like she has a purpose in life again. Dia is trying to raise her daughter while also falling in love with a new guy, but can she let him into her life (especially after the last guy died)? Jules is a lesbian who has never been on a date or had a serious relationship with a girl, but has found her love in Autumn. Can she start a new love in her while maintaining all of the band work for the competition? It's interesting watching them work through the struggles of the past, living out their dreams in the present, and working towards a better future. Where they used to never imagine they could work together again, their friendship is rekindled and they find a way to make even better music now - while improving the rest of their lives. The book also tells the story from each of their voices throughout the book, so you see it from each of their perspectives. I really enjoyed this, especially since it allowed for a much closer look at their private lives when they weren't all together.
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  • Mary Kate
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a fun read! Each of the main characters is incredibly well-drawn--the author was able to capture the unique personalities and struggles of each girl so well. I liked the romances in this book, but the best thing was how the friendships are the most important relationships here -- the romances are really more side plots. Not enough YA does this. I also love how Rebecca is able to take complex, heavy stuff -- death, addiction, heartbreak -- have the characters go through it, and ultim This is such a fun read! Each of the main characters is incredibly well-drawn--the author was able to capture the unique personalities and struggles of each girl so well. I liked the romances in this book, but the best thing was how the friendships are the most important relationships here -- the romances are really more side plots. Not enough YA does this. I also love how Rebecca is able to take complex, heavy stuff -- death, addiction, heartbreak -- have the characters go through it, and ultimately end up in such hopeful places. (She does this in her last book, too.) And the stuff about the music scene was just plain fun. Read this book for a pick-me-up, it will not disappoint!
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    To everyone sitting in their bedrooms in the 2am stillness,listening to that song that makes your heart ache.That is a good dedication.I liked this. In that way where you know you're reading a good story, but it'll never be a story/book that you completely love. It was fine, but it's not necessarily something I would recommend in a "you MUST read this now!" kind of way.I did love how the focus of the story was not on all of the bullshit the three girls had gone through in the past, but rather on To everyone sitting in their bedrooms in the 2am stillness,listening to that song that makes your heart ache.That is a good dedication.I liked this. In that way where you know you're reading a good story, but it'll never be a story/book that you completely love. It was fine, but it's not necessarily something I would recommend in a "you MUST read this now!" kind of way.I did love how the focus of the story was not on all of the bullshit the three girls had gone through in the past, but rather on how they were trying to get back from that. It's never solely about entering and possibly winning the music contest, it was about bringing these girls, these once-upon-a-time best friends back together. To help heal the broken parts and to learn how to forgive someone you loved who really, really hurt you. This book was good in an achey way because the female friendship part I felt the author really nailed.To be fair, there's a lot going on, because between these three best friends we have a teenage pregnancy, an alcohol problem, a dead boyfriend and an out-of-the-closet gay girl trying to deal with having a crush on a new girl. Which, I'm not saying these things aren't realistic, but I'm just not convinced they would all happen at the same time to three best friends that are in a band together. But, suspension of disbelief for the sake of fiction, I guess.And despite all of that, it's very real. These characters felt authentic, genuine, because they were all so flawed. And real human beings are flawed and will do stupid things sometimes and make mistakes that can end up hurting your friends and family. I appreciated the struggle of these girls finding their way to each other again.Especially Hanna's side of the story stole my heart. The last calm confrontation between her and her parents was well done, and I liked seeing how she had changed and matured; the person she was becoming because of everything that had happened.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.5 StarsThree life changing events caused their friendship to crumble, but when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself, will Dia, Jules, and Hanna be able to overcome their past in order to forge their future?• Pro: The characters in this book were dealing with a lot of life issues. Some were small and some were LARGE, but watching them navigate these rough patches, and seeing them learn and grow was so gratifying for me. • Pro: What stood out to me was the friendship between Dia Rating: 4.5 StarsThree life changing events caused their friendship to crumble, but when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself, will Dia, Jules, and Hanna be able to overcome their past in order to forge their future?• Pro: The characters in this book were dealing with a lot of life issues. Some were small and some were LARGE, but watching them navigate these rough patches, and seeing them learn and grow was so gratifying for me. • Pro: What stood out to me was the friendship between Dia, Jules, and Hanna. It was broken, and each of them was not the same person they were when it fell apart. They had many obstacles to overcome in order to rebuild what they had lost, and Barrow had me rooting for them the whole time. • Pro: The story was told in alternating POVs, which I am a fan of, but what I really liked was the extra POV Barrow put in there. I think this particular POV served more than one purpose, but what I loved about it was that it came from someone outside the friendship. This person was able to see those good things that Dia, Hanna, and Jules forgot about their relationship. • Pro: Each one of these characters had something in their past keeping them from enjoying something in their present. From addiction to failed relationships, they all had to come to terms with that something in order to move forward, and I think many can identify with that. • Pro: I love fierce girls in bands and girls supporting girls, which was what I was treated to in this book. Barrow did a great job taking me on stage with Wildfire and bringing me through the highs and lows of their road to the Sun City Originals. • Pro: EPILOGUE!!!! I am forever happy with authors, who gift me with epilogues, and this one was fabulous. It's a little bit of a jump ahead, and really does a nice job allaying many of my fears about the girls' futures. Overall: This was a great story of three friends finding their way back to each other as they navigated their own personal issues. It was messy, complicated, and really wonderful. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    It's not overstating things to say that I'm obsessed with this book. Rebecca Barrow's sophomore offering has more of what we all loved about You Don't Know Me but I Know You (intense female friendships! familial Realness! queer girls of color!), dialed up with creative heartbreak, resilient dreams, and rainbow-haired swooniness. If you love girl bands, this book is for you. If you can't resist resourceful, even-keeled Mom Friends finally getting the big dramatic kiss with a dreamboat, this book It's not overstating things to say that I'm obsessed with this book. Rebecca Barrow's sophomore offering has more of what we all loved about You Don't Know Me but I Know You (intense female friendships! familial Realness! queer girls of color!), dialed up with creative heartbreak, resilient dreams, and rainbow-haired swooniness. If you love girl bands, this book is for you. If you can't resist resourceful, even-keeled Mom Friends finally getting the big dramatic kiss with a dreamboat, this book is for you. If you're hungry for thoughtful representation of different kinds of teenagehood and different experiences of family, this book is absolutely for you. Girls kissing girls. Girls kissing boys. Girls loving one another fiercely, in a myriad ways; girls building new relationships out of ash and out of green grass; girls creating themselves and changing their worlds on the way. Rebecca Barrow is one of my favorite voices in YA for a lot of reasons, but a big one is that her books aren't in a hurry. They unfurl like a time-lapse video of flower buds, beautiful and captivating. This Is What It Feels Like is a fantastic entry into the contemporary canon of youth literature, a pensive and humorous slice-of-life story with something for everyone, whether you're here for romance, family ties, or personal growth.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of three young women who used to be inseparable. Dia, a young mother; Jules, a punk lesbian; and Hanna, ex-alcoholic, now clean. Fate (and a $15,000 prize) bring them back together, reigniting their all-girl rock band in a whole new chapter of their lives, drawing them back together. Barrow invents incredible, real lives that anyone can connect with immediately. How beautiful she makes every seemingly ordinary life. I implore any contemporary fan to give it a read, because it has This is a story of three young women who used to be inseparable. Dia, a young mother; Jules, a punk lesbian; and Hanna, ex-alcoholic, now clean. Fate (and a $15,000 prize) bring them back together, reigniting their all-girl rock band in a whole new chapter of their lives, drawing them back together. Barrow invents incredible, real lives that anyone can connect with immediately. How beautiful she makes every seemingly ordinary life. I implore any contemporary fan to give it a read, because it has everything you could ever want.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    This review was first published on my blog In Between Book Pages. ARC was provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.Three young women – former friends and bandmates – must put aside their difference to join a band showdown. Author Rebecca Barrow tells a story about forgiveness, rekindled friendships and of young women coming into their own in her sophomore offering, This is What it Feels Like.This is What it Feels Like was one of the first books I got approved for on Edelweiss when I started r This review was first published on my blog In Between Book Pages. ARC was provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.Three young women – former friends and bandmates – must put aside their difference to join a band showdown. Author Rebecca Barrow tells a story about forgiveness, rekindled friendships and of young women coming into their own in her sophomore offering, This is What it Feels Like.This is What it Feels Like was one of the first books I got approved for on Edelweiss when I started requesting for review copies earlier this year. But since it was releasing in the last quarter of the year, I had to push it back my schedule to make way for the books that I got approved for that have earlier release dates.And, well, it was so, so, so worth the long wait.I cannot tell you enough how much I loved this book! I wanted to stretch time for it just so I could stay a while longer with the characters and their world. At the same time, I just couldn’t help myself from reading page after page because I want to know what happens next. It sounds illogical, I know, but this is exactly how I felt reading this book.From the characters down to that more than satisfying resolution, This is What it Feels Like hits all the right notes. You have solid leads in Hanna, Dia and Jules. They are headstrong and determined young women, and all three bring something unique, influenced by their own struggles and personalities, to color the whole story. Secondary characters – Ciara, Hanna’s younger sister Molly, Dia’s whole family, Autumn and Jesse – also help the story move along. I especially love how the love interests, both Autumn (for Jules) and Jesse (for Dia) were written. They’re not just stand-ins, waiting for things to happen to them. They also have their own thing separate from their SOs and a reader could easily imagine what they’re doing even if they aren’t in the scene. It’s a testament to Barrow’s strong writing. She was able to create these compelling, complex and nuanced characters, develop them, make them connect with one another. I would give special mention to one relationship in particular that really stood out for me, Autumn’s and Jules’s. It was everything I could ever ask for an F/F romance. It was sweet and oh so good.At it’s bare bones, however, This is What it Feels Like is a story about friendship and discovery. This is, and I’m quite aware I’ve been gushing from the opening line of this review, my most favorite part of the story. I love stories of friendship, especially healthy, supportive ones and this is what you’ll get in this book. This is another thing Rebecca Barrow got right – portraying young women coming into, being their own persons. I love the way she wrote Hanna, Dia and Jules’s friendship. It was beautiful reading how the three girls dealt with and made peace with the girls they were, and how they gave each other a chance to get to know the young women each of them has become.As if there is any question, I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone, especially if you love YA contemporaries. This is What it Feels Like is a diverse, captivating read realistic and relatable at the same time. Trust me, this is one book you won’t want to miss this year! Now, let me go back to the bookstore and pick up Rebecca’s first book.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    I think it's pretty much common knowledge that multiple perspective novels will get me every time. But combine that with three former best friends, memories, struggles with teen motherhood and addiction? And you've got me hooked. This is the kind of book where you immediately finish it and look up everything else the author, Barrow, has ever written. There's just such a fantastic progression of story, compelling characters, and diversity that makes you need to read more books.full review: https: I think it's pretty much common knowledge that multiple perspective novels will get me every time. But combine that with three former best friends, memories, struggles with teen motherhood and addiction? And you've got me hooked. This is the kind of book where you immediately finish it and look up everything else the author, Barrow, has ever written. There's just such a fantastic progression of story, compelling characters, and diversity that makes you need to read more books.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    wow I loved this so much
  • Carlie Sorosiak
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent in every possible way.
  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.I love friendship orientated books and this was everything I wanted. Full review to come.
  • Susannah Goldstein
    January 1, 1970
    For review
  • East Greenbush Community Library
    January 1, 1970
    An intensely felt story of friendships, families, and first loves, perfect for music lovers and fans of Sarah Nicole Smetana and Nina LaCour.
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely story of friendship and growth. I really loved how complex each character was. Rebecca really took the time to develop their individual storylines and weave them seamlessly into the primary thread.
  • Carlyn Greenwald
    January 1, 1970
    Like Barrow's debut, THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE continues to showcase her incredible talent for crafting complex, imperfect, and wholly compelling female characters. And the fact that she tackles developing three distinct young women and nails each one is quite the feat. I can't even say which among Dia, Jules, and Hanna was my favorite of the band girls. They each have such unique backstories and struggles, ways in which they relate and interact with the world, and voices by which they propel t Like Barrow's debut, THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE continues to showcase her incredible talent for crafting complex, imperfect, and wholly compelling female characters. And the fact that she tackles developing three distinct young women and nails each one is quite the feat. I can't even say which among Dia, Jules, and Hanna was my favorite of the band girls. They each have such unique backstories and struggles, ways in which they relate and interact with the world, and voices by which they propel the story forward. Plus, the way Barrow develops relationships each character develops with love interests and family all had the same emotional bite. The F/F romance in this story is everything I could ever want from a sweet romantic arc. Plus, the way Barrow evokes the feeling of a music lover and what performing music means to people was just incredible. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to read a book to spread joy into their lives.
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Warnings: alcohol abuseThis is What It Feels Like is a beautiful story about lasting friendship, fighting the odds, and a deep love for music. For these three girls, music is a thing they share so deeply that it is entwined in their soul, and what brings them back together after being fractured from a fallout two years ago. For each of them, coming this far has been a challenge - whether it is to raise a kid while still in school, realize what they want out of love, or find a voice for themselve Warnings: alcohol abuseThis is What It Feels Like is a beautiful story about lasting friendship, fighting the odds, and a deep love for music. For these three girls, music is a thing they share so deeply that it is entwined in their soul, and what brings them back together after being fractured from a fallout two years ago. For each of them, coming this far has been a challenge - whether it is to raise a kid while still in school, realize what they want out of love, or find a voice for themselves. The novel begins at their high school graduation, and looking into a summer filled with work and hopes. Each of the girls have their own journey, but Hanna's feels like a major developmental arc in the book, for herself and for her relationships with her best friends. This was because it was her alcoholism that broke their group, and she has been making amends to her family ever since. Meanwhile, Dia, who has raised her kid after her sorta-boyfriend died, is finally feeling comfortable in her role as a mother, and looking forward to a future in music, and conflicted about taking a chance on getting into a relationship; she has control issues and a superstitious fear about her loved ones. Jules, a romantic, whose first and only relationship ended due to incompatibility, is falling for Autumn, the new girl at her store, and struggling with how to proceed in their relationship. And central to this all, is the fact that the three of them are getting back together for a big band competition, which means they have to get along and work together. The story carefully develops these characters, giving each enough focus to concentrate on their interpersonal relationships, as well as what they feel about music and their bond with another. The significance of their music comes across so well in how their practice sessions are described, making you almost feel the energy of that space. Some of their parents don't think them getting back together is a good idea, considering everything that happened, but their music is the one thing untainted by that time. Also, it calls to that bond that girls share, where anything seems possible, where you can depend on each other, and yes, even hurt each other very badly. I could go on and on about how wonderfully their relationship was rendered, in all the good and bad parts. Also, I loved that their friendships didn't overshadow their sibling relationships or family dynamics; Molly was such a good example of that. The only parts I didn't like were Elliot's POV chapters, because I didn't feel they served anything to the plot; at the most, it just reinforced the magic of their music and friendship at that time, but (a) that already seems magical enough in the present, and (b) I would have much preferred the flashback parts to come from one of the girls instead. Also, the individual romances were sweet, and both the love interests adorable, but it didn't have much in the way of development. Which, to be fair, wasn't the focus anyway as this book was about the girls getting back together. Overall, a beautiful story about friendships, about loving your passions and deciding what you want from life. Is it diverse? Dia is a WOC and a teen mother, and her love interest is a MOC. Jules is a black lesbian, and her love interest is a queer/questioning fat girl. Hanna is a recovering addict. Many characters of color among the secondary charactersReceived an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Harper Teen, via Edelweiss.
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  • ReenieT1721
    January 1, 1970
    The short version of how I feel about the book and my review told through emojis: 🤔🤔🤔😱😱😱💘❤💝💓😍😍😍The long version of how I feel about the book and my review told through actual words:I have nothing but good vibes right now, and I got a lot of sleep after finishing this book. I'm so happy right now, and I'm in an excellent part of my life at the moment. This book really captured how I was feeling.Hi. Diversity, is that you? AHHH, my heart is so full. I'm so happy that this book showed more than str The short version of how I feel about the book and my review told through emojis: 🤔🤔🤔😱😱😱💘❤️️💝💓😍😍😍The long version of how I feel about the book and my review told through actual words:I have nothing but good vibes right now, and I got a lot of sleep after finishing this book. I'm so happy right now, and I'm in an excellent part of my life at the moment. This book really captured how I was feeling.Hi. Diversity, is that you? AHHH, my heart is so full. I'm so happy that this book showed more than straight, white characters because America does not look like that. America looks like gay, straight, queer, asexual white and colored people together.I like that the book was fast-paced enough that it wasn't boring, but at the same time, the characters' lives moved at a normal, healthy pace. The three characters are so different, and I love that Hanna's story wasn't a love story because there is more to being a teenager than having a relationship. This book had everything from an emphasis on recovering from alcoholism and mental health, LGBT+ relationships, teenage mothers, and recovering from a loss so deep that it doesn't feel like there's life after the loss. I love that the book treats delicate subjects fully and unabashedly without giving the white cookie cutter view. I love that the book characters show that they don't have to be thin and white with a football boyfriend to be beautiful because all the characters are beautiful. I love that they're badass rocker chicks making their own kind of music. Happy Tuesday! Hope your day is going well. And if it isn't, I hope that tomorrow or sometime in the near future, it gets better. Because I promise that it will. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon.with love,Reenie💋
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I'm in love with this book. Seriously. I want it to be made into a movie so I can keep pretending that Dia, Jules, and Hanna are real. The friendships, the swoon, the music...I felt like I'd gone back in time and I was a young adult again, hanging out, working, going to shows because music (that rush!) was everything in the world.Rebecca has such a great, natural writing style and I wish I could be more articulate as I gush about this story. But I'm a nostalgic mess right now, wishing I'd had a I'm in love with this book. Seriously. I want it to be made into a movie so I can keep pretending that Dia, Jules, and Hanna are real. The friendships, the swoon, the music...I felt like I'd gone back in time and I was a young adult again, hanging out, working, going to shows because music (that rush!) was everything in the world.Rebecca has such a great, natural writing style and I wish I could be more articulate as I gush about this story. But I'm a nostalgic mess right now, wishing I'd had a book like this when I was younger, that explored the intricacies of friendship and family and love and loss.I liked the structure - third person and alternating perspectives - and the occasional outside word from Elliot, because it made everything feel so big, but also like you were in on the secret. "Made of magic," he says, the words pressed into her skin. "All of you." (pg 367)Yes, yes, yes.
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  • Kiana Nguyen
    January 1, 1970
    So much HEART!Rebecca Barrow’s strength lies in how she expertly draws her characters so you feel them at their marrow. Each of the girls: Dia, Jules, and Hanna were so alive on the page, their sorrows, their pains, their joys, and triumphs burns on the page so they feel like yours.This story of friendship between girls who lost and found each other again is one that is so needed in the YA landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic subplots in THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, but at its core this b So much HEART!Rebecca Barrow’s strength lies in how she expertly draws her characters so you feel them at their marrow. Each of the girls: Dia, Jules, and Hanna were so alive on the page, their sorrows, their pains, their joys, and triumphs burns on the page so they feel like yours.This story of friendship between girls who lost and found each other again is one that is so needed in the YA landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic subplots in THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, but at its core this book is about the relationship and connection between these three girls and the study of friendship. Its so real and palpable and these girls are messy and bold and flawed and beautifully owning it.I wish I could read more and more and more of them.This is the book you need when you’re the alt kid trying to find your way socially, navigating all the desire you have with your passions.
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  • Eli
    January 1, 1970
    7/20Good concept, but everything felt unnatural. The prose and plot often felt forced, and characters seemed like they were just there to further other people's plots. (Why exactly did Elliot need a perspective?) Both of the romantic interests had very little personality, and I felt no chemistry and saw no reason to care about either of the relationships. I did find myself getting invested in the characters, but I felt like the band didn't struggle enough to make the contest, and the payoff didn 7/20Good concept, but everything felt unnatural. The prose and plot often felt forced, and characters seemed like they were just there to further other people's plots. (Why exactly did Elliot need a perspective?) Both of the romantic interests had very little personality, and I felt no chemistry and saw no reason to care about either of the relationships. I did find myself getting invested in the characters, but I felt like the band didn't struggle enough to make the contest, and the payoff didn't feel satisfying.
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